Saturday, August 21, 2010

Pratfall on a Moral Whoopee Cushion

Dick Cavett's column in the NYT today is spot on.
Someday, we'll all look back at this moment in history as a time of shame, when people worshipped the misguided likes of Palin, Beck and Limbaugh, when we escalated the persecution of Hispanics, immigrants and Muslims.
Sarah Palin? Is that the best we can do? She is clearly ignorant and a negative force that should've been dismissed a long time ago. She's so far from morality. Rush Limbaugh? Come on. Glenn Beck clearly is insane.
Collective madness is sweeping the nation, similar to the way we hunted witches and communists and rounded up Japanese in intern camps. Now, Muslims are the top bogeyman. Religious persecution is anti-American and I find myself wondering what's wrong with people? How did we get so far off track? Would you want to be a Muslim in America today?
As a nation, we need to catch ourselves because when nearly 20% of people believe that the president is Muslim, and therefore evil, we have more than a recession going on. We have a depression of the American soul. We are lost and sick. Here's what Cavett wrote:
All this talk about the mosque reminds me of two things I heard growing up in Nebraska.

I had a 6th grade teacher who referred to American Indians as “sneaky redskins” and our enemies in the Pacific as “dirty Japs.” This abated somewhat after I asked one day in class, “Mrs. G., do you think our parents would like to know that you teach race prejudice?” She faded three shades.

The rest of that year was difficult.

As a war kid, I also heard an uncle of mine endorse a sentiment attributed to our Admiral “Bull” Halsey: “If I met a pregnant Japanese woman, I’d kick her in the belly.”

These are not proud moments in my heritage. But now, I’m genuinely ashamed of us. How sad this whole mosque business is. It doesn’t take much, it seems, to lift the lid and let our home-grown racism and bigotry overflow. We have collectively taken a pratfall on a moral whoopee cushion. Read the whole thing here.